From Thursday 6 June until Saturday 8 June, Wellington central will come alive with all things jazz.
Hundreds of musicians, many of whom are of international standard, are descending on the capital’s famous Cuba quarter for three days of contemporary and traditional jazz as well as soul, rhythm and blues, reggae, Latin and gospel.
For a free performance on Thursday (can’t beat free now can you?) head to the Matterhorn at 10pm to see a jam session, or pop into the Havana bar at 9pm for a performance from seven-piece Latin jazz ensemble ‘The Bandits take Havana’, the ‘Duelling Boogie-woogie Pianos’, ‘The Nigel Patterson Trio’ and Roger Sellers are all also performing for free on Thursday.
If you’re happy to pay your way, there are plenty of options there too, like a show from ‘Chucho Valdes and the Afro-Cuban Messengers’ at 8pm in the opera house or ‘Karen and her fellow sinners’ at 8.30pm in the BATS Theatre.
More free shows are available for the budget concert on Friday, like the ‘Chocolate Box JWF Special’ at the Matterhorn, local ‘Wellington City Shake-‘Em-On-Down at Hotel Bristol or a dinner and cabaret performance with Alana Zivanov at Daddy O’s just to name a few.
Cassandra Wilson will be performing at 7pm in the Opera House for a charge, where you can stay on after (for another small fee!) to see a session featuring Estere and the Shogun Orchestra.
Again there’s a free performance at the Matterhorn on Saturday night, one from ‘Hot Cafe’, and another from the ‘John Rae All Star Band’.
Or you could pick up a ticket for an evening with Joan Baez, or Iva Lamkum and Jennifer Zea. No matter your taste or budget, the Wellington Jazz Festival will have something for you.